Every two years, the more than 4,200 physicians, dentists, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse anesthetists and midwives who work at any YNHH-owned campus or facility must be re-credentialed to the YNHH medical staff. This number includes physicians and advanced practice providers of the Northeast Medical Group and Yale School of Medicine, and physicians in private practice who seek to treat patients at YNHH.
With a staff of 15 professionals, Physician Services is the department responsible for doing the work and research that will allow department chiefs and the Credentials Committee to recommend privileges for medical staff members to be credentialed to care for patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Their work must comply with increasingly demanding Joint Commission, State of Connecticut and CMS regulatory requirements.
"Becoming credentialed is a rigorous process that ensures that members of our medical staff have all of the appropriate education, training and experience to exercise the privileges they are seeking in order to care for patients at YNHH," said Theresa Zinck- Lederer, director of Physician Services.
Physician Services supports the process of both the initial credentialing of each member of the medical staff and the re-appointment process, which must occur every two years. Once a practitioner applies for privileges at YNHH, staff in Physician Services verify that the applicant has graduated from medical or graduate school and confirm the applicant's training, employment and other hospital appointments from graduation to the present.
Physician Services staff also verify applicants' current licensure and collect references to support their request for privileges at Yale-New Haven. The staff ask practitioners who submit recommendations if he or she has any clinical competence, personal or behavioral concerns about the applicant and also ask the question, "Would you recommend this person for an appointment to your own hospital?"
According to Zinck-Lederer, the majority of candidates seeking privileges are competent to do exactly what they say they can do and evidence is available to support their request. After Physician Services staff compile the information, they provide it to department chiefs, the Credentials Committee and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees for final approval. Zinck-Lederer notes that with the integration of Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital at Bridgeport Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, the medical staff has grown by over 1,200 — or 20 percent — in only two years.
"The Physician Services credentialing specialists are known for their thorough and competent review of all candidates for privileges," said Peter Herbert, MD, chief of staff. "They work behind the scenes but do a superb job ensuring that our patients receive the care they expect from the finest professionals in medicine today."